The Russian car market is flooded with counterfeit parts
Against the backdrop of a shortage of parts for foreign cars in Russia, the share of counterfeit spare parts has sharply increased.
Since the beginning of 2023, 23% of Russian car mechanics have encountered them, writes Izvestia, citing a study of the Fit car service network Work and the Gruzdev analytical agency analyze.
In 31% of cases it was oil, in 23% spark plugs, in 15% filters, and in another 14% suspension and steering components.
“For some product groups of car parts, up to half of the products sold may be counterfeit,” the authors of the study emphasize.
“If 23% of professionals have already encountered counterfeit spare parts, the percentage of car owners who have bought counterfeit parts can be many times higher,” says CEO Gruzdev Analyze Alexander Gruzdiev.
For this reason, technical centers began to refuse customers who come with their parts, says Sergei Shabunin, chief acceptance officer of the Veshnyaki Avto technical center. According to CTO Fit Work Alexei Ruzanov, installing fakes can turn into expensive repairs.
“We are seeing an increase in repairs due to low-quality suspension parts, such as ball joints or tie rods,” says Ruzanov. On his website, the number of such requests has increased by 7.5% since the beginning of the year.
Counterfeit fuel and oil filters, due to the wrong geometry and dimensions, can cause leakage and fire, said Yang Heitzeer, vice president of the National Automobile Union (NAU). “Even worse than using fake pads or tie rod ends is losing control of the car and having an accident,” he says.
According to Gruzdiev, a significant part of the products supplied to Russia as part of parallel imports may be counterfeits. “Castrol oil, for example, was imported into Russia from the UAE under a parallel import scheme – who can reasonably confirm that this is a genuine product now and take all the responsibility of selling such a product in our market?” asks Gruzdev.
It’s hard for regular drivers to spot a fake, but they should be wary of the price, Heizeer said. “I saw a set of “original” brake pads for a Range Rover Supercharged for 10,000 rubles at one of the Moscow markets. This is despite the fact that in England their wholesale price is 500 pounds” – noted the expert.